Some new needle felting equipment.
You see, after Christmas I will start messing around with wool. I have 26 fleeces from my friend Jodi whom I bought my ram from. I have some fleece that I still have from last year AND I have yet to shear my sheep this year...ugh!
That's a lot of wool folks!
I'll take the "raw" fleece (that means not cleaned. Every year I say I'm going to get jackets for my sheep so they didn't get full of weed seeds and burrs. Every year I don't buy them). After I skirt it which means take of the poop parts and crusty lanolin, I wash them one at a time by hand to get the grease/ lanolin out. This process takes me about 3-4 washings. That lanolin is very hard to get out. Then I "pick" hand pick out all the weed seeds, burrs and straw (sometimes dead bugs). This whole process means its a big job and that's why genuine wool yarn is spendy...but worth it!
These gnomes that are pictured above are from the a kit from Halcyon Yarn Company, also they take credit for the pretty photo. They are a wonderful company to deal with! They have beautiful roving, yarn, equipment, etc. I bought a drum carder through them last year. They have great customer service. I can't wait to start using it again. http://halcyonyarn.com/ is their website.
Pick up needle felting for a hobby or explore some of their other start up kits...they have rug weaving/making etc. They are very knowledgeable! That way when the winter nights are long and cold you'll have something to do as you are cuddled up on the couch! These little critters are what Ashlyn and I made...2 sheep and a sheep dog. It's a very easy craft to learn. Halcyon sends very detailed instructions.
Today my Christmas memory is this:
All I can say is my poor frazzled parents. When my siblings and myself were growing up, my family was extremely poor. Anyway, we had a farm with a few milk cows and some chickens. One night we had gotten a Christmas tree and were decorating it as a family. Just as we were in the throws of homemade ornaments I remembered I had a Christmas concert. I was in the 5 or 6th grade.
Needless to say my dad was a l-i-t-t-l-e bit more than upset. We couldn't go. I was going to miss it. Not only was I going to get in trouble for not going from my teacher, but my dad was mad too. Looking back, I'm sure they didn't have any gas money to go or gas in their rickety old van either.
So my dad turned off the radio and made me sing every song that was to be in my Christmas concert that night. It's really wasn't that bad. =)
My charity that I chose for today is:
Bundles Of Love a knitting charity out of Minnesota. http://bundlesoflove.org/
"Every 3 hours, a baby in Minnesota goes home with a free bundle of 25 items produced by Bundles Of Love. Without this bundle, the baby would have nothing - no clothing, no bedding, no diaper bag. The parents frequently are unable to provide these basic needs and our volunteers have come forward to help.
Bundles of Love Charity is an all-volunteer non-profit organization, incorporated in the state of Minnesota to help infants and their families. Our 501(c)3 status allows us to give tax deductible receipts for all donations. Starting with a group of 5 in 1999, we now have hundreds of active volunteers and continue to grow and help a larger number of families each year.
We help in the following ways:
- We provide clothing, bedding and necessities for infants in need;
- We provide correctly sized clothing for premature infants of all sizes;
- We provide burial garments and keepsakes for families who have suffered the loss of an infant due to stillbirth, complications of birth, or illness.
Go to their website and checkout how you can donate. It's pretty cool, teaching mom's how to sew? Ingenious!